ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Governor Bentley was in Athens Tuesday to award that school system and Limestone County Schools with grants to further their respective technology programs.
Students from both systems gave Bentley a warm welcome at the Athens Public Library today. Even youngsters understand the gravity of equipping our youth with state-of-the-art tools to make them impactful and successful contributors to the 21st century.
Governor Bentley greeted student leaders from sister school systems and introduced himself individually. Earlier this year both districts applied for Appalachian Regional Commission (ARP) grants for technology improvements.
Athens City Schools was awarded more than $48,000 to fund their 'Power Up' platform, and Limestone County Schools came away with $100,000 to support their 'Digital Passport Initiative.'
Athens' grant will establish a computer science program at Athens High School.
"And we're just very thankful to live in an area where education is important and we're thankful to live in an area where job growth has developed and we want to continue to be a part of that and so we will take any check you want to give us in the future," joked Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay.
Limestone County's portion will go toward purchasing laptops for all 600 5th grade students across the district.
"You see, we're not teaching technology, governor; we're teaching English, math, science and social studies," explained Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk. "But we're using these devices as a passport to 21st century learning."
That passport means more than new-fangled learning models -- leaders know it means success in future workforce development.
"I'm glad to be up in limestone county," Governor Bentley said. "Economically it's one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Alabama. You know I come up here very often to announce new jobs that are being in this created in this area."
In that capacity, Bentley said he's sure he'll be back. During his visit Governor Bentley also lauded the vast emphasis his administration has put Pre-K education across the state, calling it the best in the country.